Royal Highland Show 2019
The morning conditions were perfect for showing, dry with a bit of a breeze. Judge, John Lord, enjoyed some great classes of top quality sheep, with the enthusiasm of the breeders as high as ever. Once again it was a great show for breed stalwart Allan Wight, Midlock, with their flock taking not just the championship, but also the reserve placing too. Their champion was a tup shearling by the £10,000 K1 Highberries they bought out of Kirkby Stephen a couple of years back, and out of an E1 Barf House sired ewe. This tall, stretchy sheep was the male champion as a lamb last year and Midlock will be looking to retain him for their own use. The reserve champion and champion female was a gimmer, the latest of a strong line of sheep. She is by the K1 Shafthill out of Hawes and out of a ewe by G2 Marriforth. Her mother and grandmother were both champions at the Highland in years gone by, and they will no doubt be looking forward to seeing her progeny too! Following close on the coat tails of Midlock was Andrew McQuiston, New Luce, again taking both reserve championship places. The reserve male place went to his tup lamb and his reserve female was his gimmer, which had stood second in its class to the Midlock female champion.
Again, in this section, following on in the same ring as the coloured type, there was a great depth of sheep and a great following around the ring, showing the great interest in this breed, from all sides of the breed. The man in the middle was Ian Smith, Alnwick, who did a great job of sorting out some very strong classes. Taking the top honours on the day was Frank Johnson, Ashes, with a ewe he bought at the Rossiebank dispersal sale earlier in the year. She is by a Rossiebank tup and her lamb, by another Rossiebank took 1st prize in the tup lamb class too. It was a proud moment for Frank, who was making his debut at the show, and showed the old master hasn't lost his touch! Alan Cowans, the shepherd for Sir Strang Steel, Selkirk, brought out the male and Reserve overall champion, with the Mendick tup that's they share with Alan McClymont, who was reserve male with the vintage Burndale tup, who was making his last ever show outing, retiring as a breed legend. Michael Gray, Low Espley took the reserve female section with an aged ewe, which won her class last year. She is by the Ashes F2, and was the highest placed exhibiter bred sheep in the section.